Item NMC/0395 - Various architectural studies

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Various architectural studies


  • 1886 (Creation)

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1 (4)

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Four prints mounted as one. Lincoln Cathedral; A.N.Prentice, Dec 1896 Corstophine Church etc; J.S Jedburgh Abbey; A.McGibbon, 17.7.86 Sketched on the continent; John C.T Murray, Sept 1886.

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Andrew Noble Prentice was born in Greenock on 20 April 1866, the son of Thomas Prentice, and attended the University of Glasgow before being articled to William Leiper from November 1883 to 1888, remaining as assistant for a few months after completing his apprenticeship. In the latter year he won the Soane Medallion, which together with family money enabled him to undertake extensive travels in the following two years. He set off in February 1889, his first port of call being Malta, after which he toured Italy, Sicily and France. He returned in August 1889 and it appears that he may have made an enquiry about entering the RA Schools at that time: he was certainly in contact with R Phené Spiers, who advised him to undertake a further study tour, this time of Spain, which lasted from November of that year until June 1890. His studies there were published in 1893 as the folio 'Renaissance Architecture and Ornament in Spain', dedicated to the Queen Regent, Dona Maria Christina. On his return he obtained a place in the office of Thomas Edward Collcutt. He passed the qualifying exam in March 1891, enabling him to be admitted ARIBA on 8 June of that year, his proposers being Collcutt, Spiers and Leiper. In that same year he commenced practice at Hastings house, 10 Norfolk Street, Strand, where he remained until his death. A second visit to Spain was made in 1893 in connection with the publication of his book. In the mid-1890s he undertook work as a perspectivist for Niven & Wigglesworth and in 1894 he formed a brief association with A T Bolton to submit a joint entry in the competition for Durham County Buildings. Prentice was elected FRIBA on 3 February 1902, again with the support of Collcutt and Spiers but this time with Aston Webb as his third proposer. From 1920 until 1933 he was in partnership with William M Dean and from 1935 until 1940 with H J Scaping and Arthur Henry Wheatley. Like Voysey he was a member of the Arts Club, where the Architects' Table included Ernest George and Willaim Flockhart; and along with Voysay he was one of the founders of the Imperial Arts League, now the Artists' League of Great Britain in 1909. Although they are siad to have addressed each other as Mr Voysey and Mr Prentice, they were good friends, Prentice commissioning Voysey to design his book plate Prentice had an extensive practice, principally for large houses and formal gardens, the restoration and enlargement of older houses and ship interiors. In his earlier years he worked in an early to mid seventeenth century style close to that of Ernest Newton, notably at Cavenham which featured importantly in volume II of Hermann Muthesius’s ‘Das Englische Haus’ (revised edition 1908) but thereafter, as Muthesius noted, there was a trend towards a simpler and more classical Early Georgian with tall roofs and big stacks as at Stenigot built in 1911, paralleling developments in Lutyens’ office. Old English was an equally important part of his repertoire, notably at the timber-framed Chelwood of 1904 and the stone-built Lintrathen Lodge at Greenock of 1912. he had a particularly good clientele for work of this kind in the Cotswolds where he built several early seventeenth century vernacular houses completely anew as well as restoring and extending others, all in a fastidious arts-and-crafts idiom designed to merge with their neighbours or settle into the landscape as if they had always been there. Sometimes material salvaged from demolitions was used to achieve that end, notably at Willersey. Prentice’s success stemmed from his ‘taut and forceful drawing’ ‘lucid and precise planning’ (Muthesius), meticulous attention to detail in woodwork and metalwork and the business connections of his family, particularly his shipowner brother Thomas for whom he built houses in Glasgow and in Lanarkshire. His clients tended to be either artistic or rather well-off, the most exotic being Baroness Orczy whose Villa Bijou at Monte Carlo he remodelled with an Italian garden in the early 1920s. In person Prentice was about 5 feet 8 inches in height, bearded, rather stout and a heavy smoker who wore a cardigan in preference to a waistcoat. In manner he was very formal with a very precise diction for even the smallest details of life which his nephews and nieces found eccentric. He never married, living alone without much in the way of domestic help: in later years at least home life was frugal: while family members were welcome to stay, meals were not provided, probably because he had got into the habit of easting at the Arts Club. The last months of his life were spent mainly in the care of his brothers and their families, partly because of declining health and partly because of the blitz. Prentice died at Willow Park in his native Greenock on 23 December 1941.

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Biographical history

Architect, Glasgow, Scotland. Alexander ('Sandy') McGibbon was born at 11 Pitt Street, Anderston on 5 February 1861, the son of Alexander McGibbon, engine fitter and maritime engineer, and his wife Jane Cameron Selkirk. He was articled to Harry Blair in Glasgow c.1875, studying at Glasgow School of Art and although not mentioned in his nomination paper, his obituary states that he was an assistant in the office of Campbell Douglas & Sellars. In 1882 according to his own account he obtained a place as a draughtsman in the office of John Honeyman and in 1884 was one of the earliest Scottish architects to take the qualifying exam. He was admitted ARIBA on 9 June the same year, his proposers being Honeyman, David Barclay and Campbell Douglas. In 1889 he moved to Burnet Son & Campbell where he is recorded as having worked alongside A N Paterson; the Honeyman & Keppie staff photograph showing him with McNair, Mackintosh and Whitelaw probably commemorated his departure from that office.
In 1890 McGibbon commenced practice on his own account and was appointed to the staff of Glasgow School of Art as assistant to William James Anderson. The census of the following year recorded him as living with his three unmarried sisters: Christina, a teacher; Annie Jane, described as a housekeeper; and Margaret Helen, a music teacher. Of these Annie Jane subsequently married.

In 1893-94 he contributed to 'The Builder' a series of illustrations of the Scottish cathedrals which established his reputation as a brilliant perspective draughtsman, and his practice thereafter was more as perspectivist than architect. Between 1894 and 1920 he maintained an office, at 109 Hope Street from 1894 to about 1905 and at 248 West George Street thereafter. He succeeded William James Anderson as Director of Glasgow School of Art on the latter's death in 1900 with the title of Professor. Harold Hughes who taught with him in 1920-26 provided a sketch of his years at the School:
'As a teacher McGibbon was indefatigable, and there must be very many architects now in practice who can remember with gratitude his inspiring marginal sketches, kind words and his never failing encouragement. He was a tremendous worker. His practice when at the School of Art was to reach the School in the middle of the morning having had a somewhat late breakfast. He stayed without a break till half-past five. Should be become hungry, he would chew nuts, of which he always carried an ample supply in his pocket. At half-past five he would leave for the good old-fashioned Elizabethan dinner, and returned night after night to the School at seven o'clock, where he stayed till ten o'clock. At ten o'clock he would retire to his small private office and make perspective drawings up to two, three or even four o'clock in the morning. His perspectives were turned out with remarkable rapidity, and the accounts rendered for these perspectives were never in proportion to the work he put into them. If he felt a man could not well afford to pay for the perspectives, McGibbon would most certainly forget to send an account'.

McGibbon retired in 1926 when his portrait was painted by Maurice Greiffenhagen. He never married. Although big-built he was short in stature, the hem of his coats being just above his toecaps. His main interest outwith the profession was St George's Church where he was an elder for 49 years, superintendent of its Sunday school and Convener of its St Michael's Mission Committee. He died of myocarditis at his house, 51 Kessington Road, Bearsden on 5 December 1938.

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John Campbell Turner Murray was born in Glasgow in 1861 and educated at the Albany Academy, Glasgow. He was articled to James Salmon & Son in 1874 and attended Glasgow School of Art. In 1878 he moved to Edinburgh as an assistant in the office of Robert Rowand Anderson and remained there until 1882 when he returned to Glasgow as assistant to McKissack & Rowan.
In 1884 he moved to London as assistant to Arthur Cawston and remained with him until he died in 1894, their main work being the hospital for incurables at Streatham. Murray then took over the practice with an office at 21 Old Queen Street, Westminster. He secured the appointment of architect to the Admiralty Works Team for about five years from 1896, designing the huge Royal Naval Hospital at Chatham in conjunction with the Navy's engineer in chief Colonel Sir Henry Pilkington KG. Murray was also responsible for the Royal Naval Hospitals at Portsmouth and Gibraltar. He was admitted FRIBA on 6 June 1904, his proposers being William Forrest Salmon, Anderson and Henry Hare.
Sometime after that date Murray was briefly in partnership with another London Scot, James Murray Minty. Minty was born in 1857 and articled to T Farquharson, resident architect and engineer on the Macduff Harbour Works, in 1872. In 1878 he moved to Edinburgh to work for the School Board architect Robert Wilson, taking classes at Heriot-Watt College, and in 1882 moved again, this time to London to attend Professor T Roger Smith's classes at University College London. Shortly afterwards he began assisting in Smith's office. He passed the qualifying exam in April 1885. Minty's movements over the ensuing years are unclear but he commenced practice on his own account at Gray's Inn Square in 1894. In 1896-7 he was associated with C E Mallows on the design of the Granard Memorial Church in Putney. This association appears to have continued until about 1900 and they shared an address at 21 Old Queen Street, Westminster at this time. He was admitted ARIBA in mid-1901, his proposers being Smith, Arthur Cates, and the hospital specialist Alfred Hessel Tiltman. The partnership of J C T Murray & J A Minty had ended by 1914 when Murray had his office at 35 Old Queen Street and Minty at 35 Craven Street, Charing Cross.
Murray specialised in churches and suburban houses, his major works in private practice being Presbyterian churches at Bromley (Kent), Dublin, Guernsey and Singapore. He died in January 1933.

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Dimensions: 780 x 540 (backing) (363 x 249 each sheet) mm

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